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Architects wanted for project to keep students in Africa

A competition has been launched to find an architect to design a new campus for the African Institute of Science and Techology (AIST) in Abuja, Nigeria.

The US$350 million (£198 million) project will be the first in a series of centres of excellence proposed by the AIST for sub-Saharan Africa, aimed at encouraging students to remain on the continent.

Organised by the RIBA, the competition is calling for architects to come up with ideas for a world-class institution 'dedicated to academic freedom and the pursuit of excellence.'

The AIST, backed by the Nelson Mandela Institution for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, will aim to become a magnet for the continent's best and brightest students.

The competition brief demands that the new institute 'will offer instruction in science and engineering-combined with teaching in the humanities and business-comparable to the most revered institutions around the world.

'It will produce outstanding scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and leaders who will continually create and adapt knowledge to transform local communities and improve the human condition across the African continent.'

Expressions of interest need to be submitted before 7 November and up to six teams will then be invited to produce concept designs for the new Abuja campus. Each shortlisted team will receive an honorarium of US$20,000 (£11,300) for their submission.

For more information contact the RIBA Competitions Office on 0113 2341335 or visit

by Richard Waite

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